Individually Fair Learning with One-Sided Feedback

Yahav Bechavod, Aaron Roth

We consider an online learning problem with one-sided feedback, in which the learner is able to observe the true label only for positively predicted instances. On each round, k instances arrive and receive classification outcomes according to a randomized policy deployed by the learner, whose goal is to maximize accuracy while deploying individually fair policies. We first extend the framework of Bechavod et al. (2020), which relies on the existence of a human fairness auditor for detecting fairness violations, to instead incorporate feedback from dynamically-selected panels of multiple, possibly inconsistent, auditors. We then construct an efficient reduction from our problem of online learning with one-sided feedback and a panel reporting fairness violations to the contextual combinatorial semi-bandit problem (Cesa-Bianchi & Lugosi, 2009, György et al., 2007). Finally, we show how to leverage the guarantees of two algorithms in the contextual combinatorial semi-bandit setting: Exp2 (Bubeck et al., 2012) and the oracle-efficient Context-Semi-Bandit-FTPL (Syrgkanis et al., 2016), to provide multi-criteria no regret guarantees simultaneously for accuracy and fairness. Our results eliminate two potential sources of bias from prior work: the "hidden outcomes" that are not available to an algorithm operating in the full information setting, and human biases that might be present in any single human auditor, but can be mitigated by selecting a well chosen panel.